September 8th, 2006

surya

Ghosti is alive and well in Ohio, and dreaming the WalMart Dream

This morning, I walked into my office and passed a car with the license plate at right.

Well, at least someone here gets it :)

Last night, I had a strange dream. It took place in a WalMart, and I was late getting there, but just on time. I was met back in the camping section by an attractive blonde executive-type, and asked to hurry up and follow her.

She took me back into a room filled with various priests in various states of "vestedness" (which, I suppose, is the clerical equivelant of "dress"), and she asked me where my robes were. For a moment, I panicked, thinking, "Damnit, I knew I forgot something this morning!" but was saved when the cute executive blonde said, "Nevermind. Just find some here. We have a number in stock for priests who can't afford to dress nicely enough for our standards."

At this, a number of the priests looked knowingly at each other, while an equal number gave me that, "Don't worry, we've been there" sort of look that is always strangely comforting.

Hanging on the wall were some very Catholic-altar-boy-looking vestments (they came to above the knee, were slightly yellow with age and lack of care, and were completely out of place for the Pagan service I knew I was going to give. I decided that my suit was good enough, and would cover it well, checked the time and saw it was about my turn to go out, and slipped out the front door.

There, I came out into the WalMart chapel. Yes, it is exactly what you envision with the words "WalMart chapel." The service going on before mine was still in full swing, and they were cutting into my time. I caught a sneer from the woman who was preaching, and I knew she was going over her time on purpose.

I scanned the crowd for my congregants, and saw my parents sitting about three rows back. I sat down near the left wall of the chapel, and they got up and came to sit near me.

I'd invited them because this was a major thing: this was our first service here, where we were on par with several other religions, given the same honours and duties as they were, and also our first real service where it could be considered truly "hostile territory."

"We're playing with the big boys now," I whispered to my dad.

"Yes, you are!" he whispered back.

At that point, I started running through my ritual. I suddenly had to take into account that my liturgical design had to work around pews and the sanitized, indoor feel of a WalMart: truly a trick, as you can imagine.

I let my mind roam freely, blocking out the sqwaking of the lady who was running into my service's time, and started imagining what I would say in such an atmosphere.

The rite was in summer, and I thought of the camping and outdoor area behind me, and my inspiration ran wild. There was something tangible that Joe Blow and Susie Shoppingcart could relate to: the feel of nature, regulated through bugspray, high gas prices to get into the world, and expensive Ozark Trail tents that are more like houses than canvas. That was the natural connection I needed to stress: not full abandonment to nature (the WalMart crowd wouldn't understand that), but cautious entry into the realm of the unknown and amazing, the wholely other that was the edge of civilaization.

I felt very good about the service, very calm and comfortable.

Then I woke up to my alarm, thinking I had to get to WalMart before the service started without me.
surya

I like that I scored a "0" on "emtionality"

An amusing little quiz, this:


My Personality
Neuroticism
19
Extraversion
82
Openness To Experience
42
Agreeableness
84
Conscientiousness
65
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

MySpace Surveys, Bebo and MySpace Codes by Pulseware Survey Software

You are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time. You are generally calm and composed, reacting moderately well to situations that most people would describe as stressful. A desire for tradition does not prevent you from trying new things. Your thinking is neither simple nor complex. To others you appear to be a well-educated person but not an intellectual. You have a strong interest in others' needs and well-being. You are pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.

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surya

A Journey for Epona

I mentioned a few days ago that I'm trying to figure out how to send a goddess cross-country. I've been devoting literally all my free time since Monday to figuring out how to do this, preparing myself for it, and preparing the devotionals that will need to be done in order to do this.

In short, I'm sending my statue of Epona to erienc, who lives in Texas.

In long, I'm making preperations to take a goddess, who has been at every devotional I have done at my altar for four years, and sending Her away. This is more than a statue, more than a representation. I realized this when I was speaking to erienc on the phone and I said, "I'd like to send her to you." The use of the word "her" affected me deeply, mostly because it was so unintentional.

Truly, I was sending erienc a goddess, not a statue.

In a sense, I see it as a production, a play put on to add some formality and seriousness to the process.

But deeply, I see it as a religious and spiritually important working that I'm doing.

My journals on this subject will be more explicit about the process, the prayers that are being written and executed, and how the whole situation came to be.

But the soon-to-be-empty space on my altar is bringing out more deep religious feeling than I think I have ever experienced in my time doing daily devotions.

Some things to be done before I send the statue out:
  1. Write the prayer for Epona I use down so it can be used by erienc while she's there.
  2. Write the prayer for Epona that I will need to speak daily to the empty space she usually inhabits.
  3. Write a prayer to say to Epona as I send her away.
  4. Bathe the statue and find a suitable wrapping for her before packaging
The first three items are done. I want to have Epona sent out on Monday, and to have everything I've done up to that point on my webpage Monday morning.

This is a really new and interesting experience for me, one I never really contemplated before.

This weekend I will be shopping for both the packaging and the packing materials. I have some ideas, but there's a lot to work through. On Monday, see what I came up with.